Sunday, March 05, 2006

Hey Neighbor, Stop Piggybacking on My Wireless - New York Times

"For a while, the wireless Internet connection Christine and Randy Brodeur installed last year seemed perfect. They were able to sit in their sunny Los Angeles backyard working on their laptop computers.
But they soon began noticing that their high-speed Internet access had become as slow as rush-hour traffic on the 405 freeway.
'I didn't know whether to blame it on the Santa Ana winds or what,' recalled Mrs. Brodeur, the chief executive of Socket Media, a marketing and public relations agency.
The 'what' turned out to be neighbors who had tapped into their system. The additional online traffic nearly choked out the Brodeurs, who pay a $40 monthly fee for their Internet service, slowing their access until it was practically unusable.
Piggybacking, the usually unauthorized tapping into someone else's wireless Internet connection, is no longer the exclusive domain of pilfering computer geeks or shady hackers cruising for unguarded networks. Ordinarily upstanding people are tapping in. As they do, new sets of Internet behaviors are creeping into America's popular culture.
'I don't think it's stealing,' said Edwin Caroso, a 21-year-old student at Miami Dade College, echoing an often-heard sentiment.
'I always find people out there who aren't protecting their connection, so I just feel free to go ahead and use it,' Mr. Caroso said. He added that he tapped into a stranger's network mainly for Web surfing, keeping up with e-mail, text chatting with friends in foreign countries and doing homework."

1 comment:

cordovas said...

How about having wireless router manufacturers set the default as password protected and have individual passwords printed on the actual router, so if anyone actually wanted to deliberately have their network open, they would have to configure that themselves...